Agency report

leicester
Another disappointing outing for Riyad Mahrez in colours of Leicester/Photo: AP

Champions Leicester continued their underwhelming run this season as they played out a goalless draw at Middlesbrough in Monday’s early kick-off in the Premier League.

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The draw did little for either side’s hopes of avoiding relegation.

With Jamie Vardy completing his three-game suspension and Riyad Mahrez again disappointing, the Foxes lacked a cutting edge.

And it was Boro who came closest to taking all three points at the Riverside Stadium.

Claudio Ranieri’s charges have now gone 12 away games without victory in the Premier League, stretching back to the 2-0 win at Sunderland last April that nudged them closer to their fairytale title win.

But the champions, for whom Islam Slimani was absent with a fever, made the more lively start.

Leicester started better

Shinji Okazaki could not make anything of Leonardo Ulloa’s knock-down from Mahrez’s free-kick, while Christian Fuchs drilled wide from the edge of the box.

But as the game wore on, Boro began to take control, with Adama Traore to the fore.

Boro settle in

The former Barcelona winger had a penalty shout turned down in the 18th minute when he appeared to be impeded by Robert Huth right on the edge of the Leicester box.

Moments later the 20-year-old sped to the byline on the right and cut the ball back for Marten de Roon, who shot over.

Antonio Barragan returned from suspension for Boro, but he limped off clutching his hamstring in the 34th minute. George Friend was the man who  coming on in his place.

Another Boro full-back caught the eye shortly before half-time. Fabio da Silva slid in brilliantly to prevent Mahrez taking aim from Okazaki’s through ball.

Left-back Friend emerged as an improbable most likely source of a goal in the second half.

He warmed Kasper Schmeichel’s palms from 25 yards and then cut in from the right, only to skew his shot wide.

He also curled an inviting cross into the box from the left, but Adam Forshaw could not make telling contact.

All Leicester mustered in response was an Ulloa header that Brad Guzan saved comfortably.

Nigeria’s Musa could do nothing

Visiting manager Claudio Ranieri took decisive action by sending on Ahmed Musa in place of Mahrez.

But it was Boro who continued to push. Gaston Ramirez squandered a golden chance to snatch victory when he lashed wide following a tame clearance by Wes Morgan.